A Cannonball Run
Visually, things aren’t too striking. At the bottom of the screen are the seas, with orange skies at the top. No thunder, which is a shame. The 5 reels aren’t transparent which means they stand out far more and the background is less important. As the symbols are a mixture of pictures and letters representing cards, it means it doesn’t feel too cramped. The colours are a nice mix but the pictures could do with moredetail.
Before you even begin playing, you are welcomed by the name of the game being announced and some quick sound. It’s nothing spectacular but it does feel like a nice welcome before you get onto playing the game.
Playing with (Cannonball) Fire
The only main playing buttons are green, one for Start, and one for Max Bet, with the latter disappearing if you go for total value. There are 8 different coin settings of 0.01, 0.02, 0.05, 0.10, 0.20, 0.50, 1 and 2. The currency is in euros and the coins neatly change colours with value. There are 20 paylines, but disappointingly, there are only 3 settings you can choose for them, 5, 10 or 20.
Like with other Merkur games, the buttons are small and subtle but contain plenty of extra settings. You can alter the volume to any level, as well as the background music and general sound effects. You also have 9 separate automatic spinning settings, ranging from 5 to 100, and an increased speed for gameplay. Unlike some games, this isn’t superfast but as the regular pace is quite slow you’ll probably want to use it.
The regular symbols are made up of 5 pictures, as well as an Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10 and 9. Rather unusually, there isn’t one top value icon but 5 equal ones. As they’re worth up to 1,200 credits you won’t be complaining. Soldiers dominate, with the only exception being a flag. A little unimaginative but they do come to energetic life when part of a winning line.
Ladder to Bonus Success
While the 5 picture symbols are good value, what will stand out even more is how much the Wildcard and Scatter are worth. Both give 8,000 credits and even give something for 2 of a kind. The Wildcard, a cannon, replaces everything except the Scatter and during free spins and an additional Wildcard doubles the win. The Scatter,some cannonballs, is worth up to 20 free spins.
There may not be a Bonus Game, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t bonuses. When you win anything, you have the choice of a Gamble Card, Gamble Ladder or Collect. If you Collect you carry on with the main game, but either of the other options allows a chance to win up to 140 credits. If you press Gamble Card you have to guess whether the next card will be black or white.
They show you what the last 4 cards have been to help you out. You can decide to go for maximum reward or play for half value until you lose or you make 140 credits.
In Gamble Ladder, two different lights flicker and whichever light you click on when lit is what you’ll get. While sometimes that can be two very nice amounts, sometimes one of them will be zero so watch out. The other thing to mention is that for both Gamble Card and Gamble Ladder, you have to be playing on individual spins for the bonuses to work. Winning when on an automatic spin doesn’t give you this chance. That really should be made clearer.
The game’s theme is a bit uninspired, especially as so many symbols don’t relate to military war, and the designs being a bit flat. However, beneath the lack of style is real substance. The symbols give great value, the bonuses offer real chances to win and the Wildcard and Scatter offer plenty. A thunderous applause for sure.